• Poet criticizes Texas state test after not being able to answer questions on poems she wrote

    By: Amanda ODonnell , Austin American-Statesman

    Updated:

    A woman has taken issue with a state standardized test that uses one of her poems after she found herself incapable of correctly answering questions on poems that she herself had written.

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    Poet Sara Holbrook says in a contributed Huffington Post piece that some of her poems was used in the the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, a standardized test across grades three through eight that covers various subjects.

    "When I realized I couldn’t answer the questions posed about two of my own poems on the Texas state assessment tests (STAAR Test), I had a flash of panic – oh, no! Not smart enough," Holbrook wrote about her stressful experience with Texas’ infamous standardized test.

    In the Wednesday post, Holbrook makes a case against placing too much importance on the results of standardized tests.

    "Kids’ futures and the evaluations of their teachers will be based on their ability to guess the so-called correct answer to made-up questions," she said.

    Holbrook, who was emailed questions on her poems by an eighth-grade English teacher in Texas, includes the specific test questions she has difficulty answering and writes that, "any test that questions the motivations of the author without asking the author is a big baloney sandwich."

    In a follow-up Facebook post about the Huffington Post piece, Holbrook said she was paid $175 for each poem used. 

    Holbrook  wrote that the solution is for parents to reject the system of standardized tests: "The only way to stop this nonsense is for parents to stand up and say, 'No more.'"

     

     

     

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